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Movie picks


Films recommended by our reviewers are indicated by an *.

2012 (PG-13)

As the end of the world nears, as predicted by the Mayan calendar, a group of would-be heroes struggles to survive. — Not reviewed

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Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel (PG)

Alvin and the Chipettes are back in this animated follow-up to 2007's singing chipmunk holiday film. — Not reviewed

Carmike 10, Chapel Hills 15

Armored (PG-13)

The newest guard at a security firm is persuaded by his colleagues to steal an armored truck containing over $40 million, but the heist goes awry. — Not reviewed

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Avatar (PG-13)

Avatar is set in a computer-generated world called Pandora, a planet inhabited by the Na'vi, who are rich in a coveted resource ridiculously named Unobtainium. As highly detailed as Avatar looks, its meager plot fails to pull you in, leaving you to ponder the technology. — Tricia Olszewski

Carmike 10, Chapel Hills 15, Cinemark 16, Cinemark 16 IMAX, Hollywood Interquest, Tinseltown

The Blind Side (PG-13)

The Blind Side takes on the real-life underdog-makes-good story of Michael Oher, currently a first-year left tackle for the Baltimore Ravens. It's not unimpressive because it's a "feel-good" story, but because it's simply a lazy piece of movie-making. — Scott Renshaw

Chapel Hills 15, Cinemark 16, Tinseltown

The Book of Eli (R)

Walker (Denzel Washington) wanders through a post-apocalyptic world holding the last known copy of the King James Bible. All he knows is that he's headed west, and that he must keep the book safe. The directors and screenwriter don't seem at all daunted by the many precedents for their samurai-Western schtick.— Jonathan Kiefer

Carmike 10, Chapel Hills 15, Cinemark 16, Hollywood Interquest, Tinseltown

Couples Retreat (PG-13)

This half-assed update of Fantasy Island, manages to feel somehow both shriveled to short-sitcom proportions and bloated to feature-film length. — Jonathan Kiefer

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*Crazy Heart (R)

Expand the story in your average old-fashioned country song to feature-film length, and it would look a lot like Crazy Heart, writer-director Scott Cooper's debut about drinkin', lovin' and livin' too hard. — Tricia Olszewski

Cinemark 16, Hollywood Interquest, Kimball's Peak Three

Dear John (PG)

John Tyree, a young soldier home on leave, falls in love with Savannah Curtis, an idealistic college student. Over the next seven years they meet sporadically, but stay connected with a stream of letters that trigger fateful consequences. — Not reviewed

Carmike 10, Chapel Hills 15, Cinemark 16, Hollywood Interquest, Tinseltown

Did You Hear About the Morgans? (PG-13)

Hugh Grant and Sarah Jessica Parker star in this romantic comedy about a New York couple who witness a murder and are moved to a tiny Wyoming town for their protection. — Not reviewed

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Edge of Darkness (R)

What's weird about this remake is that it's surprisingly underpowered, a plodding police procedural that thinks holding back on "action" makes it "serious" even in the absence of anything substantial to take its place. — MaryAnn Johanson

Carmike 10, Chapel Hills 15, Cinemark 16, Hollywood Interquest, Tinseltown

From Paris With Love (R)

A low-ranking intelligence operative working in France takes on more than he bargained for when he partners with a U.S. agent sent to Paris to stop a terrorist attack. — Not reviewed

Carmike 10, Chapel Hills 15, Cinemark 16, Hollywood Interquest, Tinseltown

Law Abiding Citizen (R)

A decade after the murders of his wife and daughter, a man seeks his own vengeance against the killer. — Not reviewed

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Leap Year (PG)

After dating for four years and still getting no proposal of marriage, a young woman (Amy Adams) decides to turn the tables on her boyfriend, investing in an Irish tradition that allows women to propose to men on Feb. 29. — Not reviewed

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Legion (R)

When God sends his angels to destroy humanity, the planet's only defenders sit in a remote diner where they work to save the human race with the help of the fallen archangel Michael (Paul Bettany). — Not reviewed

Chapel Hills 15, Cinemark 16, Tinseltown

The Lovely Bones (PG-13)

Directed by Peter Jackson and adapted from Alice Sebold's 2002 novel, this tense but ultimately disappointing drama follows murdered 14-year-old Susie Salmon as she tells her tale from the grave and watches over her family from a limbo-like afterlife. — Scott Renshaw


Planet 51 (PG)

In this animated adventure, the residents of a far-off planet live in dread of aliens invading their homeland, when an astronaut shows up confirming their fears. — Not reviewed

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*Precious (R)

I'm mystified that some commentators have called this frank film racist, exploitive or emblematic of liberal guilt. How do we tell a story about the worst that a girl's experience can be — raped by her father, abused by her mother, ignored by almost everyone around her — if we're not up-front about it? — MaryAnn Johanson

Kimball's Peak Three

The Princess and the Frog (G)

Is it too churlish to complain about The Princess and the Frog? Disney finally gives us a black princess ... and she spends most of the movie as an amphibian? — MaryAnn Johanson

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*Sherlock Holmes (PG-13)

Though director Guy Ritchie's adaptation has more in common with the director's other films than with the Sherlock Holmes of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's stories, the spirit of Holmes remains thoroughly intact. — MaryAnn Johanson

Carmike 10, Chapel Hills 15, Cinemark 16, Hollywood Interquest, Tinseltown

*A Single Man (R)

George (Colin Firth) is a college professor in early 1960s Los Angeles mourning the death of his longtime partner when such relationships were barely acknowledged. See this alternately moving and frustrating film, directed by fashion designer Tom Ford, for Firth's performance.— MaryAnn Johanson

Kimball's Peak Three

Tooth Fairy (PG)

When a hockey player (Dwayne Johnson) crushes a little girl's belief in the tooth fairy, he is condemned to spend a week performing the fairy's difficult duties. — Not reviewed

Carmike 10, Chapel Hills 15, Cinemark 16, Tinseltown

The Twilight Saga: New Moon (PG-13)

In this second installment based on the Stephenie Meyer books, the vampire Edward, his human girlfriend Bella, and Bella's werewolf friend Jacob mope around a lot. — MaryAnn Johanson

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When in Rome (PG-13)

When a young, hopelessly single New Yorker travels to Rome, her love life is turned upside down, becoming overwhelmingly romantic. — Not reviewed

Chapel Hills 15, Cinemark 16, Hollywood Interquest, Tinseltown

*Where the Wild Things Are (PG)

You could argue that Where the Wild Things Are is the most ambitious film ever inspired by a 10-sentence-long picture-book. — Scott Renshaw

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The Young Victoria (PG)

As she is about to turn 18 and take England's throne, young Princess Victoria is tangled in a royal struggle for power, and a budding romance with Belgian Prince Albert that could effect her reign. — Not reviewed

Kimball's Peak Three

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